Culture Shock: I have only been home a few days, but the cultural differences are remarkable! Beyond the differences in road and car size, public transport, and the lack of wondrous scenery out of my window, the main horticulture difference between America and Italy seems to be a difference in attitude.
Let me explain, in Italy, the soul of the country Italians seems to be tied to the land itself. They live for the natural beauty of their surroundings and seem in no real hurry to alter it. Americans in general, see land as how it can be exploited. Can we build a mega resort here? Is this prime real estate for a sub-division? The land is used up and the natural beauty repressed in the advance of progress. Not to say America is cold hearted. A lot of the most beautiful scenery is protected by state and national parks, but it is the average land that is overlooked. For example, many a field of Texas wildflowers around developing areas are paved over for sub-divisions, or given up to farm land for corn or wheat. The Italians live around the land, while America lives on top of it.
Where gardens are common in Italy, they are not as much so in America. Sure there are flowers and shrubs, but edible veggies and such are not as common. The Italians love to use their own vegetables and fruits, where Americans are content to buy in bulk from the supermarket.
In no way am I bashing the American way or anything of that nature for I bleed red, white, and blue. I am merely commenting on how Italians seem tied in their soul to the land they inhabit, while Americans see it as a possession. I held this viewpoint before, but now I see more of the land for its natural beauty. This is one of the many things I learned from the Italians and something I think a lot of Americans would benefit from.
Pic 1: Vatican Gardens
Pic 2: American St. Regis Resort